MU was released in 2022 at the start of the season, as 8 episodes of around 45 minutes each. The series was to showcase the human side of motorcycle racing, behind the scenes, which fans don’t get to see during a race weekend and make it easy consumption for non-race fans.
Here’s the hits and misses of this racing series which is aired on Amazon Prime:
The first episode gradually unravels a typical MotoGP weekend. An endeavour to explain to a first-time viewer, what is happening. While this is boring for old fans, it does make life easier for someone who has never heard of MotoGP. It is at the end of the day a niche sport.
The series captures a lot of emotion, the human element, which is mostly missing during a race weekend. It shows riders as they are, just normal humans, with superhuman talent at riding a motorcycle. You get to see the fears, triumphs, failures which a rider encounters. It shows the pain of injuries, it starkly reminds you, that is a 365 day a year job for these racers. They can’t ever stop racing in their head, even when they are at home.
Set in the 2021 MotoGP season, it chronologically follows the races and shows you much of the drama which happens behind closed garage shutters. At the same time, it doesn’t unnecessarily dramatize things for the sake of eyeballs.
The riders speak in their native language, so you are bombarded with French, Spanish and Italian. Which leads to more authenticity for the show. Because the nuance and passion of the rider cannot come across if it were dubbed or if all the riders were forced to speak in English.
The biggest problem with the show, is that most people couldn’t even see it. In many countries around the globe, the show was never even released. Shooting themselves in the foot, when it came to growing the audience and fanbase!
If you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing nobody. The series tries to capture the attention of the new fan and old fan alike. In its attempt to straddle a wide spectrum of audience, it falls flat in the middle. After the first episode, things go too fast for a new fan to keep up with. While for the diehard fan, there is just too much explaining happening. Like teaching the alphabet to a graduate! It would have been better if it focused on its target group.
The show uses a few MotoGP commentators to narrate the tale of 2021. There are many English-speaking commentators, alongside Spanish and Italian commentators. The former find it difficult to gel with the sport. MotoGP is filled with passion, and you can hear it dripping from the voice of the riders and the Latin commentators. In stark contrast, the deadpan monologue from the English commentators kills the buzz of the show’s flow.
While the Europeans in the show speak their native language, the Asians speak English. As with any human, they cannot be as eloquent in a second language as in their first. As such, it comes across as a European biased series. Not surprising, since it is a European biased sport. This is where they miss out on the opportunity to grow the audience by giving the sport a global flavour.
If you are a MotoGP fan, then MU is a must watch. It offers some wonderful insights into the sport. Though there are sections, you would just want to fast forward.
If you aren’t familiar with MotoGP, but ride motorcycles, you will probably enjoy it considerably.
If you enjoy other forms of motorsports, you should watch it. You might just become a new fan!
If you are browsing through Amazon Prime and stumble upon it and watch it like any other documentary, then chances are you will not be able to go through the first episode itself. There isn’t all